If you are a Clevelander who just can’t get enough of amazing Christmas lighting displays, plan a trip to Oglebay Resort’s annual Winter Festival of Lights in Wheeling, West Virginia where there are 6 miles and over 80 larger-than-life displays to dazzle you.
Started in 1985, the Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights now attracts more than one million visitors each Christmas season and has been deemed the nation’s largest holiday light show, All Oglebay displays now feature energy efficient LED lights. Listed as one of the “10 Best Christmas Light Displays in the U.S.” by AOL Travel, the Winter Festival of Lights is also been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Extreme Christmas Celebrations” and was listed as one of the “Top 200 Events in the Country” by Discover America.
Spread over 300 acres, some of the lighting displays along the 6-mile drive-through event are the “Rainbow Tunnel” (added in 2014 and spanning the road leading to the lake area) which is 300 feet long and features multi-colored lights, the “Snowflake Tunnel” with dozens of sparkling snowflakes, the “Polyhedron Star” (with over 2000 lights) that stands on Oglebay’s highest hill, “The Ferris Wheel,” the “Cinderella” display (which took 2 years to complete) and the tallest display at the Winter Festival of Lights — the Poinsettia Wreath and Candles” (60 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter.) And make sure you catch all the displays featuring the “Peanuts” comic strip characters.
Trolley Tours are also available leaving Wilson Lodge several times each evening starting at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $9 per person Sunday through Thursday and $10 per person Friday and Saturday. There is no admission charge to see the Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights but donations are requested. A one-time donation per carload is good for the entire season (now through January 3, 2016).
While on the Oglebay property be sure to make a stop at the Good Zoo where there is a light and music extravaganza taking place each evening on the zoo patio and featuring more than 35,000 LED lights choreographed to holiday music. And while you are at the Good Zoo, check out the O-Gauge Model Train exhibit and the holiday laser shows at the Zoo Benedum Theater. And don’t miss a stop at the Resort’s Gardens of Light where you can view 150 lit hanging baskets in addition to thousands of lighted flowers and trees.
The Festival runs from now through January 3, 2016. Hours for the Festival are dusk – 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and dusk – 11 p,m. Fridays and Saturdays. Special Note: Weekends at the Oglebay Winter Festival of Lights are extremely popular so be aware that you could be sitting for 2 hours waiting to get in if you visit on the weekend.
For more information about the Winter Festival of Lights or about Oglebay Resort, call 800-624-6988 or get online at www.oglebay-resort.com. Oglebay Resort is located at 465 Lodge Dr. in Wheeling, West Virginia (4 miles from I-70). Wheeling is 150 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 3 hour drive.